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Memoria e Ricerca

Hitler in Venice. The image of the Fascist regime and the city in the early 1930s

di Camilla Poesio
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 43 (2013), p. 145

This article focuses on Hitler’s visit in Venice from 14 to 16 June 1934. Mussolini and Hitler met each other for the first time. Unlike Mussolini, Hitler wanted to meet the Italian Politician since long time. Why the Fascist regime accepted to meet the new chancellor? Why it took place in Venice? Was the visit really insignificant like has been seen for a long time? This article argues that the Fascist regime used Hitler’s visit for propaganda goals and chose Venice for symbolic and political reasons. The event had a deep impact. Especially Hitler was impressed with Mussolini who showed himself in different ways, like leader of Fascist party, leader of Fascist militia, club-man of the high venetian society, brain of venetian modernisation, devoted catholic, “father” of venetian orphans. The meeting didn’t produce significant political developments, but had a transnational impact: three years after, the first Mussolini’s visit in Germany was organised on the model of Hitler’s one. Keywords: Venice, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Propaganda, Foreign relations, Transnational History